STEM is becoming essential to the K12 curriculum because it teaches kids how to think and apply those skills to real-life problems–which is always a great skill no matter your job field. As technology continues to expand, so do STEM occupations. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects STEM occupations to grow by almost 10.8% by 2031. That growth is more than two times the total for all professions. Not only does STEM provide job opportunities, but also it leads our future.

STEM teaches innovation of technologies that improves tomorrow’s world. During the pandemic, innovative thinkers had to create solutions that allowed us to socialize, learn, and work without risking our health. Thus, we had Zoom. To this day, Zoom and many other online meeting platforms have become commonplace. Technology can also save our planet. Coral reefs support about 25% of all marine species. However, scientists estimate 70-90% of coral reefs will disappear. Scientists are using 3D printing to recreate coral reefs to improve a reef’s resistance to corrosion and save marine ecosystems. Scientists intend to prevent the extinction of coral reefs with 3D printing machines. How cool is that?!

STEM programs for kids and teens are excellent ways to immerse your students in STEM. By enrolling your student in STEM programs, they can build a passion for technology and science, plus gain critical thinking skills needed for all walks of life. In this article, we’ll share some programs for any elementary, middle school, or high school student.

Check out upcoming free computer science events for kids led by tech experts: past events have featured guests from Pixar, NASA, Intel, and more.

Discover some of the best STEM programs for kids and teens

If you’re seeking to put your child on the path to innovation, enroll them in a STEM program. We listed some programs that have the best STEM classes for kids.

1. Create & Learn

Our STEM program offers more than 35 tech courses for K12 students! Create & Learn offers Scratch coding, Minecraft coding, Roblox coding, Python, and more classes and summer and winter camps. Highly experienced instructors lead all of our courses designed by tech experts from Google, Apple, Stanford, Harvard, and MIT. These courses have a class size of 5 students max per teacher, so your child gets the feedback and attention they need for successful learning. Create & Learn courses are fun because your kid will have many hands-on projects to demonstrate their skills and growth.

Best for ages: 5 & up

Get started: Have your child begin with Scratch coding. Here they will learn core coding concepts with the help of Scratch, a visual programming language. Or check out our other free coding classes.

2. Quantum Physics

Quantum physics is a science increasingly growing in value as this field contributes to the foundation of modern technologies like solar energy, computers, wifi, etc. In this quantum physics program, middle and high school students can join a course that prepares them to enter the Breakthrough Junior Science Challenge to compete for a $250,000 scholarship! Professor Baraket is a highly experienced instructor who will help your child develop a research topic in twelve weeks. In the past five years, he’s had one student win. Your student could be the next grand prize winner!

For younger students interested in quantum physics, try Atom Secrets & The Periodic Table of Elements. In this four-session course, students will learn about atoms, particles, elements, electron orbitals, molecular bonds, and more!

Best for ages: 11 & up

Get started: Check out previous Breakthrough Junior Challenge winners and their ideas for some inspiration this year!

3. Bricks for Kidz

If in-peron STEM learning is ideal for your student, this could be a nice option for your family. With ten years of STEM education experience, Bricks for Kidz introduces kids to the idea that they can be scientists, mathematicians, engineers, and more. This company uses LEGO to teach real-world concepts while having fun! Brick for Kidz offers various programs, from art to coding to video game design, to help fuel your child’s interest in technology and innovate solutions for tomorrow.

Best for ages: 3 & up

Get started: Find a location near you and see what courses they’re offering this season.

4. NASA

The National Aeronautic Space Agency (NASA) is an intriguing agency to learn about because they’re responsible for various programs and research about space! Space exploration can pique curiosity about our world and the frontier outside our atmosphere. If your child wants to learn more about the world beyond Earth, have them attend a free event with NASA explorer Sandra Cauffman. Your child could have a few of their space questions answered too!

Some other NASA programs to check out are the NASA STEM Club, Star Trek & the NASA Connection, and the Path to Space Careers. Bruce Callow, a space educator who worked under NASA and the Costa Rica Institute of Technology, teaches the Star Trek and Space Career courses. You can also explore the NASA website for even more events for kids!

Best for ages: 6 & up

Get started: Sign up for the next upcoming free event with Sandra Cauffman.

5. American Museum of Natural History

Are your students interested in science and wonder how things work? Check out some of their spectacular programs: Lang Science Program, Science Alliance Program, Early Adventures Program, and Science and Nature Program. All of AMNH’s programs teach students how to stay inquisitive about the world around them and find answers. The Lang Science Program is an incredible six-year program where students can take classes in the museum to learn about different exhibits, collections, labs, and how to conduct research. Admittance into this program is a magnificent opportunity for students who are passionate about nature and want to make discoveries. In Science Alliance, middle school students can explore topics like anthropology, astrophysics, conservation & earth science, and evolutionary biology.

Best for ages: 5 & up

Get started: For Pre-K students, check out the Early Adventures Program. For elementary students, check out the Science and Nature Program. For 6-8th grade students, check out the Science Alliance. Middle and high school students can take part in the Lang Science Program.

6. Smithsonian for Kids

The Smithsonian Institute is the largest museum in the world, with 21 museums in total! The Smithsonian aims to discover new knowledge and share resources with the world. One way they do this is by hosting activities for kids and teens. This institute offers engaging STEM programs that connect students to animals, nature, and science. The Smithsonian website lists fun activities where your child can learn about coral reefs, explore the Learning Lab, 3D printing, and more!

Best for ages: 5 & up

Get started: Check out a free live event to learn more about the Elephant Herd or see other events the Smithsonian offers. You can also take a virtual tour of the many collections available online.

7. Synthesis

Synthesis is an enrichment program designed to cultivate super collaborators that can solve challenging problems in our current world. Students will enjoy this program because they’ll have the opportunity to think through difficult challenges together, experiment with different solutions, and take ownership of their decisions. Synthesis provides time for students to practice problem solving skills earlier in life. Here your student can turn mistakes into opportunities.

Best for ages: 8 to 14

Get atarted: Check out how you can join Synthesis.

Join top STEM programs for kids and teens

STEM is a gateway to expanding one’s possibility to succeed in our highly technological society. No matter what STEM field your child hopes to pursue, there will always be something for them to solve and use to change the world. Try signing your student up for these top STEM programs and watch their creativity, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills grow. Up next, explore STEM activities for kids.

Written by Hunter Wilkinson, a fervent reader and learner. She got into education to share her passion for storytelling and STEAM instruction. In her free time, Hunter loves to write songs/poems, run, play video games, and hang out with her two fluffy cats.